Thursday, April 10, 2014

My journey as an adoptee

We each have a story to share. It is a story of pain and perseverance, of strength and courage, loving ourselves enough to stand back up, after falling down. Some of us have multiple stories that we walk around with but do not necessarily share with others. We have fallen, again and again, broken and fragile but remain strong and courageous, to the rest of the world.

If my book of memoirs was to ever be published, it would include several surreal stories of digging deep within to build myself back up. Maybe this is why I love running the distance so much? The brutality of the pain you endure to achieve an unimaginable goal, turned reality, because of your strength and determination. Chapter after chapter, stories would flow of what I have endured and what I have overcome. Yes, I am a #LymeDiseaseWarrior but before this, I was a #Warrior on so many different occasions.
Chapter One would begin something like this...It was a beautiful Spring Day, May Day to be exact, when the world was celebrating the arrival of sunshine and happiness, except for a young expectant Mother, trapped in a hospital room, who was mentally preparing to give birth and say good bye, without even holding her baby girl.
I. CAN'T. EVEN. IMAGINE. the pain. the heartache.
She wanted a better life for her baby girl. Every day of her life afterwards, that moment in time, was frozen in her heart and haunted her. These were her words expressed to me when we met many, many years later.
Chapter Two would go on to read, word for word, taken from the social worker's reports about how the foster mother would abandon the baby girl for hours on end without feeding her in the middle of the night or leaving her cooped up in a crib without a diaper on because her diaper rash wouldn't heal. But no alarm bells rang because the baby girl seemed healthy, didn't fuss much and was content being by herself.
The Universe works in mystery ways. On January 14, 1970, before I was born, this was the day that my birth Mother decided to give me up. In another part of California, my future adoptive Mother was blowing out her Birthday candles and making a wish on January 14, 1970. And at two months of age, after I was born on May 1st, I went home with my new family. I get chill bumps when I think about how my life had purpose and a destiny, before I was even born, to be with another family.
Me at 2 months old
It was the first time I had experienced unconditional love in my short period of life. I am Strong. I am Miss Independent. During those first two months of my life I didn't have loving parents who sang me lullabies, who were in awe of me, who held me close and nurtured me. I was a tiny infant girl, who was broken, and I Survived those first two months of my life being unattached to a caregiver.

If you know me, on a surface level, the appearance that I shine upon the world, you would NEVER imagine that this was my story. But if you know me, as a confident, someone who I can share my innermost feelings with, then you have heard my story and you understand why I do the things I do. Why I take risks. Why I am SO fearless. Why I simply live my life freely. I have been this way my entire life. Fear does not stop me.
I have always been a bit of a wild child, even though I was the oldest, and my Mom and Dad provided a stable, loving home. My teenage years were the hardest. I was Lost. Always Searching. I didn't know who I was. I wondered what my birth parents looked like, especially my birth Mother. My family never made me feel like an outsider. It was me who announced to others that I was adopted. In fact, my baby sister, who is 12 years younger me, was working on a family genealogical project while I was away at college, when my Mom called to let me know she was surprised that I never told my sister that I was adopted!  But that's how it was in my family while growing up...I had "Grandpa Pope's eyes" and my relatives were from "England and Finland"...I am actually Spanish and Dutch. I am their daughter. They are my sister's. I am a part of this wonderful "Pope" family and no one, including my incredible awesome extended family, talked about my adoption.  Even though I knew from a very early age that I was adopted.

My baby sis, my Dad and me 
All my cousins and me

My parents were my guardian angels who rescued me over and over and helped me rise up each time when I was feeling not worthy of their goodness and their love. The moment they held me in their arms as an infant, and continued doing so throughout my life, are the moments when I had a chance to become whole again.
With each one of my parents, I have a special relationship. But I am definitely a "Daddy's Girl." My Dad had this awesome way of parenting that I try to channel into my parenting with my three kids. During my teen years, I often tested "the rules." But whatever I would do, he never made me feel bad about who I was as a person. Instead, he focused on the behavior and made sure I learned from my mistakes. Tomorrow (or technically today since I am writing this during the midnight hour) is his Birthday. My Dad is a #Warrior too. And I am so thankful that I was given the special gift of his love and my Mom's love. Without their love and encouragement, I am not sure I would have continued to keep getting up, each time I've fallen down.
Thank You Mom and Dad, for your unconditional love and for helping me to soar to unimaginable heights.
Family Fun Christmas 2013
  hmmm...I wonder where I get my sense of humor from??  :)   
Peace and Love Always ~ Amy

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